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Aston Villa vs Chelsea Women Preview: A challenge to relish for Villa

Aston Villa Women host current champions Chelsea at the Banks’s Stadium on Wednesday night

Durham Women v Aston Villa - Continental Cup Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Aston Villa Women welcome Chelsea to the Bank’s Stadium on Wednesday night in the FA Women’s Super League.

The Villans came from behind twice on Saturday afternoon to draw 2-2 with Reading and regain some form heading into a huge test against the current league champions.

Emma Hayes’ side have won all of their last five games, whereas Villa’s last victory came in a 4-0 triumph over Bristol City back in December, but Sunday’s draw will give them plenty of confidence ahead of Wednesday.

This fixture was originally set to take place back in October, but a positive COVID test in the Villa first team led to the match being postponed – a reality that has impacted teams across the league this season.

Whilst this may be their first league meeting following Villa’s promotion last year, the two sides faced each other in the FA Continental Cup quarterfinals, where the Blues ran out 3-1 winners.

Avoiding Past Mistakes

Villa have found themselves on the wrong end of some heavy score lines in recent weeks, so they’ll be more determined than ever to get a result against the London club and avoid a similar demolition.

Chelsea boast some of the biggest names in the women’s game, not least with Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder and the in-form Fran Kirby who have been scoring goals for fun.

However, Villa have proved to be a difficult team to beat at times this campaign, as Reading learned at the weekend and the addition of Mana Iwabuchi to the squad will give the Chelsea defence something extra to think about.

A Managerial Change To Offer Some Guidance

Following Saturday’s draw, Gemma Davies spoke of the team’s inexperience saying:

“We’re a really young team, both players and staff.”

“We’re new to the league and it’s going to take time.”

This came just days before yesterday’s announcement that Marcus Bignot would be taking charge as interim manager, with the coaching staff remaining in their current positions.

Davies remains in the club’s long-term plans, but the mentorship Bignot can provide as he takes over team selection, tactics, in-game management and support with training, could turn out to be the difference maker come the end of the season.

Kick off is at 7:30pm GMT and the game will be shown live on the FA Player.